Alex Schatz’s Homewall in Erie, CO

    Alex Schatz // Erie, CO

    When did you build your wall? Was it a “COVID baby”?
    Covid and a gift of climbing holds provided the final spark. We bought the first batch of lumber as Covid lockdowns began.

    How long did it take you to build and what did that time look like?
    Ten weeks, or two four week phases with a slight break in the middle. Weekends and nights, and a lot of sawdust in the garage given winter conditions.

    Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build? Any surprises there?
    About $1,500. Plywood was only purchased as we approached the end, and it has become very expensive. But can’t say that is a surprise anymore.

    What are you doing for padding?
    Tumbl Trak 5’x10′ 8-inch pad. Moves slightly depending on the problem.

    What was your primary incentive for the wall? Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
    Kids checking out climbing gyms in and around Boulder, Colorado. The wall far exceeded my initial concept and kept getting bigger based on solid appeals from the experts for more space to get creative on moves.

    What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
    Highly disjointed wall conditions, with nothing in plane. Also, highly variable lumber quality.

    What would you do differently?
    Check lumber even more carefully (cupping and twisted boards).

    Did you make any mistakes along the way or choose to re-do any aspects?
    A “wing-wall” was added for support on the initial overhanging feature. We will re-do that as a less obstructive angled header when we add another phase (to the left of current finished space in the pictures).

    What is your favorite aspect?
    Unexpected features, like smear moves at angles, hanging finish at top of wall. Building the compound angle was fun too.

    How often do you use the wall?
    Daily. Gyms are open in the area, but we have a long way to go exploring options on this wall.

    Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
    If you have the space, go big.